\ ˈslik How to pronounce slick (audio) \

Definition of slick

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1a : having a smooth surface : slippery slick wet leaves
b : having surface plausibility or appeal : glossy slick advertising
c : based on stereotype : trite slick stories soon forgotten
2a : characterized by subtlety or nimble wit : clever especially : wily a slick swindler
b : deft, skillful a slick ballplayer
3 : extremely good : first-rate
4 archaic : sleek sense 1


slicked; slicking; slicks

Definition of slick (Entry 2 of 4)

transitive verb

: to make sleek or smooth

intransitive verb

: spruce usually used with up



Definition of slick (Entry 3 of 4)

1a : something that is smooth or slippery especially : a smooth patch of water covered with a film of oil
b : a film of oil
2 : an automobile tire made without a tread for maximum traction (as in drag racing)
3 : an implement for producing a smooth or slick surface
4 : a shrewd untrustworthy person
5 : a popular magazine printed on coated stock and intended to appeal to sophisticated readers
6 slang : a military helicopter without armaments that is used to transport troops or light cargo



Definition of slick (Entry 4 of 4)

informal, dated
: in a smooth or clever manner "I must say they did it slick enough. They were old hands at the business."— Jack London

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Other Words from slick


slick adverb
slickly adverb
slickness noun

Synonyms for slick

Synonyms: Adjective

greased, greasy, lubricated, oiled, slicked, slippery, slippy, slithery

Synonyms: Verb

grease, lubricate, oil, wax

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Choose the Right Synonym for slick


sleek, slick, glossy mean having a smooth bright surface or appearance. sleek suggests a smoothness or brightness resulting from attentive grooming or physical conditioning. a sleek racehorse slick suggests extreme smoothness that results in a slippery surface. slipped and fell on the slick floor glossy suggests a highly reflective surface. photographs having a glossy finish

sly, cunning, crafty, wily, tricky, foxy, artful, slick mean attaining or seeking to attain one's ends by guileful or devious means. sly implies furtiveness, lack of candor, and skill in concealing one's aims and methods. a sly corporate raider cunning suggests the inventive use of sometimes limited intelligence in overreaching or circumventing. the cunning fox avoided the trap crafty implies cleverness and subtlety of method. a crafty lefthander wily implies skill and deception in maneuvering. the wily fugitive escaped the posse tricky is more likely to suggest shiftiness and unreliability than skill in deception and maneuvering. a tricky political operative foxy implies a shrewd and wary craftiness usually involving devious dealing. a foxy publicity man planting stories artful implies indirectness in dealing and often connotes sophistication or cleverness. elicited the information by artful questioning slick emphasizes smoothness and guile. slick operators selling time-sharing

Examples of slick in a Sentence


Be careful as you drive home—the roads are slick. big corporations and their slick lawyers The new kid had some slick moves on the basketball court. The students did a slick job of promoting the concert. The video game has slick graphics.


The rain slicked the roads. slicking the bottom of their skis with wax
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Sel has the look of a slick Scottsdale lounge, an intimate room done in crystal and purple velour with a gently thumping soundtrack. Dominic Armato, azcentral, "The best restaurants in Scottsdale and Paradise Valley," 1 July 2019 Soon after, ELO’s brand of slick pop rock was no longer in vogue, and the group formally closed up shop. Nathan Powers,, "ELO’s Jeff Lynne headed to Portland, playing his hits and feeling cool," 25 June 2019 Dylan’s deep, oddly expressionless voice doesn’t necessarily do any favors to a genre known for its marked warmth, and his slick band of studio musicians adds to the disconnect. Aidin Vaziri,, "Review: Jakob Dylan's 'Echo in the Canyon' soundtrack rings hollow," 24 June 2019 Fans of the real-deal Chucky movies, with their cheerfully low-rent effects and bawdy, impish humor, may well regard this slick new offering as a desecration masquerading as an upgrade. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: Controversial ‘Child’s Play’ remake is creepy fun before it malfunctions," 20 June 2019 Despite dry, slick racing conditions, the drivers only had an early yellow flag and a late yellow flag in this race. Antioch Speedway, The Mercury News, "Antioch Speedway: Chadwick takes first in Jerry Hetrick Memorial Race," 13 June 2019 While the Rimowa is an ultra-slick take on the conventional hard-case, Uzi’s bag of choice is much more unusual: a candy-striped, square Versace purse from the colorful and geometric Spring 2019 collection. Rachel Hahn, Vogue, "Lil Uzi Vert’s Versace Carry-On Is the Stuff of Fashion Dreams," 14 May 2019 The body looks slick, with a new and thoroughly modern appearance that's much more in keeping with the modern style of truck: high belt line, smaller windows and chunkier style. Aaron Bragman, USA TODAY, "Review: Ford's revamped Expedition SUV moves to the front of the pack," 13 July 2018 The new design looks slick, with the traditional three white stripes of adidas running along the shoulders and a neat v-neck collar., "PHOTO: adidas Selling New Leicester Home Shirt Online Before Club Unveil the Fresh Strip," 11 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Her hair was slicked back and rolled into bob with an Old Hollywood feel. Alexandra Macon, Vogue, "Charlotte Casiraghi Wears Chanel for Her Second Wedding Day Look," 2 June 2019 Salemme’s baggy suits hang on his frail frame, and gray wisps that are slicked back over his balding head replace his brown curls. Washington Post, "The last Mafioso? ‘Cadillac Frank’ trial shows mob’s decline," 17 June 2018 Although it was slicked back in the front, her sizable tail framed her face. Lauren Valenti, Marie Claire, "Hannah Davis Makes a Gym Ponytail Red Carpet-Worthy, Solves All Our #SummerHairProblems," 16 July 2015 At Bombay Darbar, my group was happy with the cavalcade of flavors and colors -- deep reds, foreboding browns, creamy oranges slicked with white streaks -- that came from chef Rajesh Rana’s kitchen. Michael Mayo,, "Review: Bombay Darbar brings some new flavor (Indian) to Las Olas," 13 June 2019 The accompanying campaign image showcases the 38-year-old star standing in front of a wall of white flowers with her hair slicked back and her skin glowing to the gods. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "Kim Kardashian’s New KKW Beauty Mrs. West Collection Was Inspired by Her Wedding Day Makeup," 14 May 2019 The stylist left Washington's baby hairs conspicuously un-slicked, invoking a mood of bohemian glamor. Jihan Forbes, Allure, "Allure’s Hair Editor Shares Her Top 5 Edge Controls and How to Use Them," 28 May 2019 Rather than readying for an evening out by combing lengths into one of her signature slicked midi-knots, Hadid opted for something slightly less done, her hair scraped back with fingers, leaving ample texture in their wake. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "Bella Hadid Pairs the Perfect Windswept Updo With an All-White Puffer," 23 Oct. 2018 Back in 2010, when prep and heritage were still big, Disick was known for sporting Gordon Gekko-esque slicked back hair and a clean shaven face. Megan Gustashaw, GQ, "Scott Disick's New Look Is Straight Out of 1978," 15 Feb. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Juul, the largest e-cigarette company, has slick, startup-style marketing and enjoys exploding popularity on college campuses. James P. Sutton, National Review, "San Francisco’s Vaping Ban Threatens to Push Teens Back Toward Cigarettes," 4 July 2019 Those fritas are aggressively simple: a seasoned blend of chorizo and beef topped with shoestring potatoes (or potato sticks) and a slick of ketchup. Phillip Valys,, "SummerTimeOut: Behold the juicy Cuban hamburger at It’s a Cubano B in Pompano Beach," 25 June 2019 The new iPad Pro might be the best fit for those who want its slick, new design, and to take solace in owning the most powerful tablet that Apple has created yet. Cameron Faulkner, The Verge, "Last year’s iPad Pro is more affordable than ever at B&H Photo," 5 Dec. 2018 Forward Kevin Parsemain hit Fortuné in stride with a slick back-heel pass, and Fortuné sent a shot just past the fingertips of the goalkeeper and into the left pocket of the net. Parth Upadhyaya, The Denver Post, "Martinique beats Cuba in CONCACAF Gold Cup Group Stage," 19 June 2019 All the adjectives were true, especially the latter—the group showed up in slick, seersucker Thom Browne getups that certainly lived up to the Temptations' stylish reputation. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "Deepika Padukone, Kendall Jenner, and the Stars of “Ain't Too Proud” Attend the New York-Presbyterian Hospital Youth Anxiety Center Dinner," 18 June 2019 Before the leviathan was dragged to shore, before it was found floating at sea trailing a slick of blood, the massive creature had had its run-ins with its greatest nemesis: human beings. David Abel,, "As right whales surge north, one death too many," 15 June 2019 During the brighter hours, best action is offshore around baitfish schools, diving birds and bait slicks on live shrimp under a slip cork. Frank Sargeant,, "Friday Fishing Report: Get latest reports on what’s biting," 14 June 2019 Evgeny Kuznetsov was able to control the puck and made a slick pass to Wilson, who scored from a sharp angle. Noah Trister, The Seattle Times, "Capitals rally in third to edge Red Wings 3-2," 6 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'slick.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of slick


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4


13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense


1849, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1825, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for slick


Middle English slyke; akin to Old English *slician


Middle English sliken, from Old English *slician; akin to Old High German slīhhan to glide

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Statistics for slick

Last Updated

8 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for slick

The first known use of slick was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for slick



English Language Learners Definition of slick

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: very smooth and slippery
: clever in usually a dishonest or deceptive way
: skillful and clever



English Language Learners Definition of slick (Entry 2 of 3)

: to make (something) smooth and slippery



English Language Learners Definition of slick (Entry 3 of 3)

: a thin layer of liquid that makes a surface very slippery
: a smooth tire that is used in car racing


\ ˈslik How to pronounce slick (audio) \
slicked; slicking

Kids Definition of slick

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to make sleek or smooth He slicked his hair.



Kids Definition of slick (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : having a smooth surface : slippery slick pavement
2 : tricky sense 2 a slick salesman
3 : having skill and cleverness She made some slick moves during the game.

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More from Merriam-Webster on slick

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with slick

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for slick

Spanish Central: Translation of slick

Nglish: Translation of slick for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of slick for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about slick

Comments on slick

What made you want to look up slick? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to form ideas or theories about something

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